Softball: Krause powers Fremd over Palatine
In honor of their annual 'Pave The Wave' game with Palatine, Fremd softball players wore the names of inspirational women throughout history.
On the back of Elaina Kraus' jersey was 'Plodzien" for former Fremd hall of fame girls basketball coach Carol Plodzien.
Krause then went out and looked like a hall of famer herself.
The senior designated player went 3-for-4 including the game-winning RBI with a 2-run single in the second inning to help lift the Vikings (18-6, 10-2) to a 6-1 Mid-Suburban West triumph over Palatine (11-10, 5-5).
Not bad for someone who recently returned to action after missing five weeks under concussion protocol.
"This was women's history month and she (Plodzien who won more than 500 games in 34 years) came up in my sports literature class," said Kraus, who intends to study forensic science at West Virginia. "We learned about her and I thought she would be the perfect person to honor."
Except for a deep fly out to Pirates center fielder Caitlin Williams, Kraus would have been perfect at the plate.
"Elaina got cleared last Friday night and we got her a few at-bats against Prospect to try and get her feet back under her on Saturday morning," said Fremd coach Josh Teschner, who recently won his 100th game. "We got her some more at-bats and she had been red hot the last two days (2-for-3 against Conant on Tuesday).
"She is back looking confident at the plate. So much of our offense is dependent not only on her energy but what she does with the bat. She is fantastic. Granted it's a small sample size, but she is hitting well over .500."
Kraus had nearly half the Vikes' 7 hits which were all singles. The others were by Anna Poss (bunt single), Avery Sadorf (2-for-3) and senior Christina Byrne, who had an RBI single to right in the fifth inning. Eva Dernis also had an RBI sacrifice fly to left in the inning.
Winning pitcher Gina Dudley (12-3) capped the scoring with another fly to left in the sixth inning that brought home Sydney Sheedy to make it 6-1.
"Gina is a leader in everything she does," Teschner said. "And when she is on the mound, even if she doesn't have her best stuff, she is out there fighting and battling for the team. She has a completely selfless approach and she has been great."
The Pirates also had some great at bats, equaling the Vikings' 7 hits.
Leading the way were Kayla Courtney (2-for-3) and Payton Westphal, who clubbed a one-out solo homer over the center field fence in the sixth inning. Williams, Nicole Marceau, Grace Adame and Jolie DeValk also had hits for Palatine which stranded seven runners.
"We just couldn't get the big hit," said Palatine coach Nicole Capalbo. "We were hitting the ball hard, just right at people. I thought defensively we were a little off our game. We played a little timid and our pitchers (Holly Steffus and Kelly Beach) gave us outs that we should have gotten.
"But it's hard to win a ballgame when you score only 1 run. We were just missing that big hit to break us through."
The two teams play right back at Palatine on Wednesday.
"Any time we play Fremd it's going to be a good battle since all the girls have known each other for such a long time," Capalbo added. "Fremd is a good team but I think tomorrow when we play them again, as long as we play our game, it could be a different outcome."